There are some pretty big games taking place today in Bubbleville, and suffice it to say Monmouth, Valpo and St. Mary’s will all be watching with eager eyes. There are only a few do-or-die for both teams like the Syracuse/Pitt game, but there are a lot of teams that could potentially valut past them on the S-Curve if a win today sparks another one or two afterwards…
Teams like Clemson, Washington and Marquette have tough cases to make, but it would help some teams breathe easier to see those slim chances wither today. Likewise, teams like Colorado and Texas Tech are safe, but a bad, embarrassing loss tonight can’t do anything but add some credence to considering some of the little guys.
Conference tourneys get going on an insane level tomorrow, but today is still a nice slate of games with a ton of importance. We will be back all week with plenty of picks and coverage, but for today, let’s get to today’s free pick.
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Today’s Free Pick:
Virginia Tech Hokies vs. Florida State Seminoles -4.5
I thought this game would be a relative pick em, but the Noles, despite a two-game worse conference record have emerged as a pretty solid favorite. Part of it is the way they finished; three straight wins over Pitt, Syracuse and Boston College, and part of it is the relative imbalance of conference schedule strength. Both teams were overwhelmingly better at home than they were on the road (where they were both awful and below .500 considerably) but both also have some quality wins on the resume.
In addition to the above mentioned wins, Florida State also has the trophies of Virginia and Florida. Virginia tech owns the same impressive home win over Virginia to go with wins over Miami, Pitt, Clemson and a home win over Florida State.
This game feels like a total toss up, but I like Virginia Tech to get the ‘upset’. I certainly like them with a healthy bounty of points. Tech is 7-3 ATS in their last ten games while Florida State is just 4-6. On the season, the Hokies have been overlooked and covering all season long. They are 16-8-1 ATS on the year while the ‘Noles are 12-14-1 ATS.
The value is with the Hokies tonight. I wouldn’t be stunned if either team won in a close game, but I definitely don’t see Virginia Tech getting blown out. The Hokies have won five straight and have good momentum. Both teams have momentum courtesy of the home gym, but since today is on a neutral floor, the momentum issue feels moot, so let’s call it a pick em. Which is my larger point in the column and why I like Hokies and the points...